Subject RE: [IBDI] Names of our lists/newsgroups
Author Claudio Valderrama C.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Helen Borrie [mailto:helebor@...]
> Sent: Sábado 29 de Diciembre de 2001 18:19


> Yes, I watch the subscription notices and the postings that
> follow, and I can tell that we are far from being exclusively a
> "Firebird list". People who buy Borland products get "free"
> developer licences for InterBase(R) in their software packages;
> and there are still folk who download those buggy old binaries
> from the Borland site.


Finally some fun for the end of the year...

Only two weeks ago we counted two years since the first warning that IB was
being sent to the museum was raised in the Mers list. Word didn't leak out
directly, but Greg Deatz found the facts almost by accident, by phoning
Borland and requesting to talk to some top IB people of that time (and he
reached the conclusion that they were gone).

The only concern for months was not how to fork the code but how to save the
same original engine, hopefully under the control of the same IB team.
Whatever happened after July 2000 it's history and it's not reversible.
(Scientists say you can't go back in time undoing actions, because you would
break the entropy law). Now we have FB and IB and Borland created two
flavors of IB. Still some newcomers think that FB is the free Borland

I think that initially, when the IB-Support list was created by Jason &
Helen, it remained dormant for weeks or months. Two issues pushed it to the
active life:
- Jason had much general IB topics running inside IBO list. With high
traffic already running there, it made sense to divert those threads to
another list.
- Mers forums experimented two kinds of shakes, political and technical. The
main list became unpractical (too much duplicate emails, spam, no admin
support) or unpleasant (political battering v/s user and post banning, that
in turn made the list slower due to manual filtering) for some people. An
escape valve had to be found and that inactive IB-Support filled the need.
Even though some rules should be observed to be able to post from the
equivalent NGs at, we have a mailing list and newsgroup system.
Then it gained momentum.

Finally, we have to acknowledge the recent demise of those formerly
prestigious Mers forums, attributed exclusively to Rob Schieck's decision,
hence some old names in the Mers forums migrated to IB-Support in the last
two months, contributing with more traffic.

I see IB-Support as the neutral technical place to discuss both engines.
Everybody that has visited the Borland NGs knows that TeamB repeat "this is
not the place for FB questions". In IB-Support, IB or FB are discussed
alike. We shouldn't take the same route than Borland, since IBDI doesn't
profit by defending FB; Borland has to defend their commercial work instead,
so this explain their desire to keep their NGs for their flavor only. I
personally feel comfortable with the name of the several lists managed by
IBDI and don't want to see a change. I feel comfortable discussing any
engine flavor. The historical product name is IB and unless Borland wants to
sue anybody using a list with the "IB-" prefix, the current list names are
acceptable. FB is an accident of the destiny, thanks to Borland's unclear
plans for a lot of months, where it seemed that nothing would happen. (The
Firebird was a proposed icon for IB6, not intended initially to name a
fork.) Finally, Borland made clear that IB returns to closed, paid product
with a shrunken open sourced flavor whose future is uncertain, but this is
rather recent. (They still don't state what's the exact fate of the free

Same as IB-Support handles any flavor for tech support, this IBDI list
handles general, non-tech concerns about any flavor that anyone wants to
raise. That there may be strong opposed opinions to any letter is not a
problem, as it will happen in every forum where you post moot arguments.

Closing the door to IB flavors is not acceptable in my opinion. Even if the
lists continue receiving posts related to IB, the name FB would discourage
people as it suggest the list is exclusive for FB. Since IB is the old name,
it gives the general perspective of any flavor; it's like an umbrella for
any fork. Nobody is playing a game to confuse people with the "IB-"
prefix... everybody knows which are Borland's URLs for official IB tech
support, they are pretty straightforward! And if people don't know the exact
names of the NGs, the main Borland URL is foolproof and from that point,
people will find the Borland newsgroups.

If we accept that proposal for change, we will end up having IBDI group
itself renamed FBDI.

C. (The Conservative guy.)
Claudio Valderrama C.
Ingeniero en Informática - Consultor independiente -